Ruta angustifolia Pers.

Ruta angustifolia Pers.




Ruta chalepensis auct., Ruta grave­olens auct., Ruta graveolens L. var. angustifolia (Pers.) Hook.f., Ruta chalepensis L. var. an­gustifolia (L.) Backer.

Vernacular Names


Aruda, sadal.


Godong minggu (Javanese), daun inggu (Sundanese).


C[uwr]u l[ys] h[uw][ow]ng.

Geographical Distributions

Ruta angustifolia is native to the Mediterranean region. It is used for medicinal and culinary purposes since ancient times. It has been introduced in the Near East and India; in Southeast Asia. Besides, it is cultivated as a potplant in Ma­laysia, and occasionally in Vietnam and in Java for medicinal purposes.


Ruta angustifolia is a perennial herb and woody at the base. It can grow up to 0.3-1.5 m tall.

The leaves are arranged spirally, 2-3 ­pinnatisect, obovate to oblong-obovate in outline, measure 4-15 cm x 2-9 cm, and obovate-­lanceolate to narrowly oblong which are about 8-14 mm x 1.5-3.5 mm. They are conspicuously pale bluish-green, crenate, translucent-punctate-glandular, and strong smelling while the lower leaves are shortly petiolate.

The inflorescence is terminal or axillary in the upper leaf and often combines into a corymb. The bracts are lance-shaped, not or scarcely wider than the subtended branch and the glandular is usually hairy. The flowers are 4(-5)-merous, with deltate­ovate sepals, measure 2-3 mm x 1-2 mm, subacute, and hairy glandular. The petals are oblong, 7-10 mm long and fringed with cilia as long as the width of the petal.

The capsule is smooth and with acuminate segments.

Ecology / Cultivation

Ruta species thrives under fairly dry conditions in partial shade but survives successfully in full sun. It is easily grown on any soil but prefers a well-drained calcareous clayey soil.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.